5 Characteristics Of A Successful eLearning Course

5 Characteristics Of A Successful eLearning Course
Summary: Now that you’ve decided to upgrade your learning strategy, find out the top 5 characteristics of a successful eLearning course.

What A Successful eLearning Course Looks Like

A successful eLearning course is going to do more than just inform; it’s going to excite, inspire, and actively engage the learner. Your successful eLearning course should incorporate the best practices of training and development so your learners can find and create meaning in every aspect of their jobs.

After all, you hired someone because their experience and skill set was exciting to you. So, here are some ways you can make sure they feel that excitement in the onboarding and brand training!

1. Visuals And A Pleasing Aesthetic

Everyone is turned off by big blocks of text. To keep your leaner’s attention, make sure your course incorporates lots of visual, interactive elements like images, graphs, charts, illustrations, or diagrams.

The general aesthetic of the course is also important. It’s the first thing your learner will encounter, and we all know the weight of first impressions. So, give it the time and thought it deserves. Ask questions like:

  • Should the aesthetic be sleek and modern, or colorful and fun?
  • What fonts are attractive, professional, and readable?
  • What kind of color scheme best fits the tone and style of the course?
  • Will all courses be linked with a common aesthetic, or do you want to change things up with a variety of styles?

If you choose to hire an eLearning company, spend some time perusing their portfolio. See what their designers have come up with in the past and ask them about the possibilities for customization.

Be Careful!

While people enjoy visuals, you don’t want to overdo it with an excess of superfluous images. A good rule of thumb is to make sure each visual element serves a necessary purpose in the training. There’s a difference between a cluttered collage of graphics and a smooth, intuitive map of visual information.

2. A Positive Voice

We all have attitudes about training that we bring to a job. Many of these are negative: that training is boring, or hard, or useless. So while the material should be relevant and engaging, you also want to account for the tone: fill the course with encouraging language that fosters genuine realization and helps the learner feel fulfilled, satisfied, and enlightened. Let them know you’re on their side!

3. Interactive Elements With Opportunities For Practice

Interactivity is the heart of training innovation. People want to engage and interact with the material they’re given. So, make sure your course has these crucial interactive elements that challenge the learner and make them think. The more they can actively do in the course, the better their information retention and the more enjoyable their experience.

The Application Of Knowledge

The presentation of information is just one side of the learning coin; the other, very important side is application. The best interactive elements give learners the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in the course to potential real-life scenarios. Give your employees the chance to demonstrate that they understand the training material well enough to put it into practice.

You can do this by dispersing quizzes or immersive simulations at regular intervals throughout the course. Ask the learner questions or make them plot out a course of action: give a salesman a hypothetical sales scenario and see how they handle it. Once they’ve completed the activity, evaluate their answers and give clear feedback. If the learner made a poor decision, tell them why it was poor and guide them towards the correct action.


It’s also wise to build a reward system for all corporate training materials. Tangible rewards motivate the learner to pay attention to the course and perform well in the associated activities.

4.  Structural Cohesion And Clear Learning Objectives

Every successful eLearning course should have a clear learning objective whose success can be measured in quizzes or activities. The best courses are cohesive with no superfluous parts. This means every individual component is indispensable to the narrative integrity of the whole. Similarly, every activity should flow logically into the next, perhaps with transitional elements that justify themselves. So, find a pattern that works—and feels good—and stick to it.

5. Focused And Simplified Content

There’s a lot of ground to cover in onboarding, and it’s probably all important in one way or another. But you don’t want to throw everything you have at the employee and risk overwhelming them. So prioritize: decide what is most important for them to know first, second, and so on. Divide all onboarding materials into a series of digestible courses, such as compliance training, leadership training, or sales enablement training. And be as specific as possible when explaining practices, procedures, and policies.

You should also make a habit of putting yourself in the learner’s shoes. Consider what they already know, or don’t, and be careful when making assumptions about their knowledge and experience levels.

Reach Your Full eLearning Potential

Digital learning strategies are the future of onboarding. By incorporating these features into your eLearning courses, you can create the optimal learning environment for a wide range of employees—employees who will be happier and more capable in their jobs as a result.

eBook Release: AllenComm
The experts at AllenComm solve business problems with beautiful custom learning solutions. We bring creativity into instructional design. We change behaviors and influence choices. We build better training.